ST. LOUIS – The St. Louis Circuit Attorney's Office filed criminal charges Friday against a St. Louis police officer following the shooting death of Officer Katlyn Alix.
Nathaniel Hendren was charged with first-degree involuntary manslaughter and armed criminal action.
Alix, who was off duty, was shot in the chest around 1 a.m. while in the company of Hendren, another officer, and other individuals at Hendren's home in the 700 block of Dover.
According to prosecutors, Hendren and Alix were playing with firearms when Hendren produced a revolver. He emptied the cylinder then returned one cartridge to the cylinder before spinning it. He then pointed the revolver away, and pulled the trigger. The gun did not fire.
The victim, Alix, took the revolver from Hendren, spun the cylinder, pointed the gun at him, and pulled the trigger. Again, the gun did not fire.
At this point, Hendren took the revolver back, pointed it at Alix, and pulled the trigger. This time the weapon discharged and the bullet struck Alix.
Alix was taken to the hospital where she was pronounced dead. She was 24.
Prosecutors said the other officer had chastised both Hendren and Alix for playing with guns prior to the shooting. That officer, identified as Hendren's partner, said he didn't want to be involved with the gunplay and started to leave the apartment. As the officer left the room, he heard the gunshot and came back into the room and saw Alix had been fatally wounded.
Police recovered the revolver at the apartment.
Hendren and his partner are 29 years old and have been with the department for nearly two years, St. Louis Police Chief John Hayden said.
The St. Louis Police Department's Force Investigation Unit has been handling the investigation.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol had been assisting the circuit attorney's office in investigating the shooting. The circuit attorney’s office routinely conducts investigations following officer-involved shootings in the City of St. Louis.
If convicted, Hendren faces between three and 10 years in prison on the manslaughter charge.
St. Louis Circuit Attorney Gardner issued the following statement Friday afternoon: